Four prominent commercial buildings change ownership

A partnership between Lift Partners and Westbrook Partners has acquired four prominent commercial buildings from longtime downtown landlord Saratoga Capital.

Lift Partners is a value-add real estate operator that focuses on rehabilitating underutilized buildings and Westbrook is a large institutional investor with offices in San Francisco, New York, London and Tokyo.  The partnership acquired:

u  The Saratoga Capital Building, at 52-78 E. Santa Clara St., with Saratoga Capital’s offices on the second floor of the 31,400-square-foot historic building with the landmark gold dome.  Ground floor tenants include Muchos! Diaz Menswear, Hom and Dive Bar.  The Toon’s nightclub on the corner of Second Street closed in 2011 and has been vacant since;

u  14 S. Second St., the former home of Voodoo Lounge, which has been vacant since 2013;

u  The 29,400-square-foot Dohrman Building, built in 1928 at
325 S. First St. in SoFA, is home to CubaMex sandwich shop, American Institute of Architects, The Blue Chip and offices.

u  1 N. First St., built in 1946, is currently completely vacant.  Once a J. C. Penney department store, the 100,000-square-foot building was more recently home to Lincoln Law School, which moved to 284 S. Second St. a year ago.

This latest deal follows Saratoga Capital’s 2014 sale of the Hotel
De Anza to Lowe Enterprises.  Saratoga Capital continues to hold several primarily residential properties downtown, including the
33 South Third Street apartments, the Sainte Claire Apartments in SoFA and the former Zanotto’s location on Second Street that hosts dwellers on the upper floors.  Some of the ground-floor tenants in those buildings include Original Joe’s, Sainte Claire Newsstand, Pieology and Smoke Eaters.

“Downtown owes a lot for the investment and care that Saratoga Capital has put into each of their downtown assets,” said Geri Wong, senior managing director for Newmark Cornish & Carey.  “These are well-located, high-profile properties that Lift Partners will be able to put their imagination and investment into and take standards in the area to the next level.”

Lift Partners acquired 70 N. Second St. in 2015, infusing new energy into the Historic District, along with Harvest Properties / Invesco’s purchase of the Civic Towers (now Valley Towers).

“The buildings we purchased will be a vibrant part of the Historic District and deliver best-in-class creative office environments with rich ground-floor amenities,” said partner Chris Freise from Lift.